Film Scouts Diaries

1996 Telluride Film Festival Diaries
Getting Around and Getting to Know People

by Leslie Rigoulot

September 2, 1996

Telluride is not easy to get to unless you have a charter flight into the tiny airport. You can fly commercial into Montrose or Gunnison but then you have to shuttle bus it or rent a car. I suggest the shuttle because there is nowhere in Telluride you can't walk to. I mean it! The town center is about eight blocks long and about five to six blocks in width. Even the high school gym which was converted to "The Max" theater is only three-tenths of a mile from the festival headquarters. Besides it is such a beautiful area to walk. Cool breezes and the possibility of occasional rain mean that a sweater or slicker should be nearby. Standing in line for the nine pm show can be a chilling experience but then that's how you meet people.

I met Marcia, the doctor's wife in line at the Shirley MacLaine tribute and this being a small festival, I kept running into her throughout the weekend. She had brought the kids here after touring the west coast. Untypically, she doesn't consider herself a film buff but just wanted to see as many good movies as she could. Looking to me for recommendations was fruitless at that point but we keep each other informed while standing in line over the weekend as to what we thought was good.

Meeting Susan Levin is essential since she is the publicist for Columbia pictures and controls the interviews with Carroll Ballard, director of "Fly Away Home". She is a pleasant red head whose husband, Dennis has accompanied her. They are waiting patiently for me as I dash to our appointed meeting place having been held up by a slow moving camper on the mountain road. I feel fortunate that she is as nice as she had been on the phone. On Sunday Susan and Dennis are in line for "Disney's Unseen Treasures" but unfortunately they are in the wrong line. What they need are patron passes or they will be consigned to the end of the three hundred strong line for a one hundred seat theater. Luckily, I'm a little behind the in line and have two extra patron passes that the Press Office has given me. So I repaid her patience with the passes. At the Labor Day Picnic, Dennis introduces me to Scott MacQueen, the Disney curator who narrated "Disney's Unseen Treasures" .

The faces that seem unfamiliar at the beginning of the festival have become friendly after hours in line, in the dark and in a common bond of movie love.

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